NAYLOR, George (1670-1730), of Lincoln’s Inn and Hurstmonceaux, Suss.
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Family and Education
bap. 21 Oct. 1670, 1st s. of Francis Naylor of Staple Inn by Bethia, da. of George Beadnall of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumb. educ. St. John’s, Oxf. 1684; L. Inn 1685, called 1694. m. 4 July 1704, Grace (d. 1710), da. of Thomas Pelham I*, 1st Baron Pelham of Laughton, 1da. d.v.p.1
Commr. building 50 new churches 1715–27.2
Usher of the Exchequer 1722–by Aug. 1727.3
Naylor’s father was a prosperous Chancery lawyer. Nothing certain is known of the family’s ancestry but he may have been a descendant of William Naylor who in the 1560s served as registrar of the court of Chancery. Put to the law himself, Naylor qualified as a barrister in his early twenties. In 1704 he married the eldest of Lord Pelham’s brood of daughters from his second marriage, thus becoming brother-in-law of the young Thomas Pelham, the future Duke of Newcastle. Although he enjoyed distant cousinhood with the rising Whig star Robert Walpole II*, it was his marital connexion with the Whig Pelham family which brought him the immediate dividends of wealth and social standing, and launched him on a parliamentary career. At the Seaford by-election of 1706 the Pelham interest was put at his disposal and he successfully fought off a Tory challenge. In 1708 he was able to purchase Hurstmonceaux Castle and its entire surrounding estate from the Earl of Sussex for the princely sum of £38,215. The same year he was re-elected for Seaford, this time unopposed. Though not an active Commons man, he was a thoroughgoing Whig, supporting the naturalization of the Palatines in 1709 and the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell the following year. A direct connexion with the Junto Whigs is suggested by his professionally based friendship with Lord Chancellor Cowper (William*), though how closely it influenced his political views is to be questioned since his father-in-law Lord Pelham regarded the Junto politicians with a cautious eye. On the progress of Marlborough’s continental campaigns he was undoubtedly one of the best-informed MPs on account of the detailed reports he received from his brother-in-law Dr Francis Hare who, as chaplain to the forces, was a member of the Duke’s civilian staff. Appropriately, Naylor was ordered by the House in January 1709 to deliver an invitation to Hare to preach.4
The Pelham interest in Seaford was not enough to prevent Naylor’s defeat in the general election of 1710. In February 1712 his father-in-law died, having appointed him an executor and guardian of his two sons, Thomas, the new Lord Pelham, and Henry†, the future first lord of the Treasury. It was perhaps in anticipation of this role that in March 1709 Naylor had encouraged the introduction of a general bill to enable guardians to make conveyances of property. However, the responsibilities of guardianship which confronted him in 1712 and for several years after were far greater than he could have imagined, for he was required to act for his elder brother-in-law, the new Lord Pelham, in the protracted dispute over the inheritance of Pelham’s uncle, John Holles, Duke of Newcastle. The Duke, who had died in 1711, left the bulk of his vast estate to Lord Pelham, rather than his own daughter, Lady Henrietta, who was soon to marry Lord Harley (Edward*), son and heir of Lord Treasurer Oxford (Robert Harley*). The basis for a settlement between Pelham and the Harley family was concluded in 1714 and was signed by Naylor on his brother-in-law’s behalf. Naylor re-entered Parliament in 1713 after obtaining an unopposed return at Seaford. He was noted as a Whig in several analyses of the House, including the Worsley list, and on 18 Mar. 1714 voted against the expulsion of Richard Steele.5
Lord Pelham came of age in 1714, and shortly after George I’s accession was made an earl and was advanced to the dukedom of Newcastle in 1715. Naylor might well have been expected to continue to profit from his earlier association with the Duke, now that Newcastle’s political career was in the ascendant, but, in circumstances which are not clear, the two men went their separate ways during the early stages of the Whig Schism, Newcastle supporting Sunderland, Naylor following Walpole. In Newcastle’s voluminous correspondence there is nothing from Naylor after 1716; neither did the Duke put him up for re-election at Seaford in 1722. For his past loyalty in the Commons, however, Walpole rewarded Naylor with a minor Exchequer post in 1722, though Naylor had quitted this by August 1727. He died on 29 Jan. 1730, leaving Hurstmonceaux to his nephew Francis Hare, who later changed his surname to Naylor.6
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: Andrew A. Hanham
- 1. IGI, London; London Mar. Lic. ed. Foster, 959; Suss. N. and Q. x. 65.
- 2. E. G. W. Bill, Q. Anne Churches, p. xxiv.
- 3. Cal. Treas. Bks. and Pprs. 1729–30, p. 543.
- 4. Vis. London (Harl. Soc. cix–cx), 86; J. H. Plumb, Walpole, ii. 93; Suss. Arch. Colls. iv. 162; Add. 32686, f. 33; HMC 14th Rep. IX, 200–34.
- 5. R. Browning, Duke of Newcastle, 3–4, 7, 39; Add. 33064, ff. 35–36; Swift Corresp. ed. Williams, ii. 67–68.
- 6. Suss. Arch. Colls. iv. 162.